Iowa Ideas Conference will search for complex solutions to problems in Iowa

Iowa Ideas Conference The Iowa Ideas conference is Sept. 20-22 in Cedar Rapids. Liz Martin/The Gazette

Discussions on issues impacting Iowans will take place at the Iowa Ideas Conference in September in Cedar Rapids.

The 2017 Iowa Ideas Conference is September 20-22 in downtown Cedar Rapids at the Double Tree Conference and Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. This year the Iowa Ideas Conference has over 250 speakers with 80 sessions. It starts September 20 in the Paramount Theatre with Keynote speaker Alec Ross before two days of speakers, workshops and panel discussions.

The Iowa Ideas Conference—which is organized by The Gazette—focuses on eight tracks:

  • Agriculture,
  • K-12 education
  • Higher education,
  • Transportation,
  • Energy and Environment,
  • Workplace revolution/culture,
  • Workforce/Regionalism
  • Healthcare

Zach Kucharski, Executive Editor of The Gazette, said these are eight issues the newspaper covers on a daily basis and wants to encourage deep discussions with this event to hopefully, move closer to solutions.

“We view this as the start and some continuation of discussion,” Kucharski said. “This is going to be an ongoing effort for us, we believe bringing people together and having them engage in about issues is a critical part of journalism. This is an evolution of what we are trying to do as an organization.

“We want people to learn.”

Each of the eight tracks will feature conversations about the challenges and issues facing the state and look at some of the solutions being tried.

Sarah Binder, Community Engagement Manager at The Gazette, said some of the challenges will be specific to each but there will also be overarching themes.

“The impact of technology,” Binder said. “The changing demographics of Iowa is also something we’re really digging into. Whether that’s the aging population, the role of immigration in our state, the rural/urban divide goes into that as well.”

To register for the Iowa Ideas Conference, click here.